Present at the ribbon-cutting inauguration of the TCS-SMU collaboration were (from left to right), Mr. Girija Pande, Chairman, TCS Asia Pacific; Mr. Natarajan Chandrasakaran, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, TCS; Guest of Honour Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Finance and Manpower; Mr. Vish Iyer, Head, TCS Asia Pacific and President and Prof. Arnoud De Meyer, President, Singapore Management University.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of India's top IT services companies, and the Singapore Management University (SMU), announced a joint iCity lab to be located at SMU's School of Information Systems (SIS) on Friday (5 August).
Announcing the collaboration, TCS Asia Pacific's chairman Girija Pande said the two organisations are partnering to create a new research facility to develop industry standards and IT frameworks for the emerging intelligent city model of urban development. TCS will initially invest S$6 million (US$4.9 million) in this lab over the next three years, which will be disbursed as scholarships and research funds at SMU.
"This industry-university partnership is a first of its kind in Asia Pacific for integrating cloud technology with the relevant business know-how to create urban management IT solutions," said Professor Steve Miller, Dean of SIS.
Opportunity for Singapore
At the signing of the collaboration at SMU's Administrative Building, the guest of honour Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Manpower, Singapore, said the lab comes at a good time when a remarkable transformation is taking place across Asia.
Pointing to the intermeshing of technology in the management and running of cities, the minister said this transformation is different from normal urbanisation. At a time when this kind of transformation is taking place, it is an opportunity for Singapore, he said. He also applauded TCS for being able to ride the second wave of globalisation when the IT company is trying to grow its business in the Asian market.
In his address, Pande said the iCity lab is well-positioned to be a regional hub for the development of intelligent city IT architecture and solutions. "This lab strengthens our commitment to Singapore," he said. TCS has about 10,000 staff in Asia Pacific and its regional headquarters is in Singapore.
Talking about the nature of the new facility, Pande said the iCity lab would be an integrated lab and would develop a comprehensive platform for technologies for the new age cities, encompassing areas of governance, healthcare, security, education and smart utilities, among others.
He said the new lab would also function as a digitally interactive user-experience centre where city managers and planners from other Asian countries could come to explore new cloud-based technologies. "Globally, over US$100 billion is expected to be invested in the intelligent city segment over the next 10 years," said Pande.
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